Asides from eating and drinking, man's sustenance and survival must also come from breathing in air. Why? Why is food and drink not enough to survive? Why this whole dependency on oxygen in order to live?
The Breath/Spirit of Life
"With the word of Hashem the Heavens were made, and with the breath of His mouth all of their Hosts" (Psalms 33).
On this verse, the sages explain that the "word of Hashem" alludes to the first, Creative act of the Heavens hidden in the first word of the Torah - Bereishit. Whereas the breath of His mouth hints to the second utterance of Creation found in the second verse of the Torah: "And the spirit of the Lord (spirit also meaning breath i.e. an utterance) was hovering over the surface of the water".
This water, the Zohar explains, is the Torah itself. In other words, the Creative force which initially made the Hosts of the Heavens, can also be found in the Torah. From this water/Torah emanates the spirit/wind/breath of the Lord which continues to sustain all living beings.
This is necessary since food and drink only offer life to survive from the present point in life and onward. However, since the way we live our lives can cause us also to have lacking which eventually affect the quality of our lives, what is "also" needed is a re-boot energizer which can help us fill up the lack which we tend to just drag on with us.
This re-boot energizer to fill up the lacks is found in the air we breathe. It emanates from the Torah, to show us that the spirit of life is in the Torah, This spirit of life can give us life and remove all that lacking. But it is up to us - i.e. how much we receive qualitative spirit/breath of life is dependent on how much we are close to the Torah
The Tzaddik and the Counter-Tzaddik
But since the average person is not so directly connected to the Torah, we must receive this life-force from the Tzaddikim who are totally attached to the Torah.
Thus, dependent on how close one is to these caliber of tzaddikim who receive the spirit of life/vitality from the Torah, so too do we receive more directly this vitality of life/spirit to fill up our lacking.
The question is, what about those people who are not close/attached to these Tzaddikim at all, or better yet, those who are opposed to these Tzaddikim, or even better, the gentile nations who have no connection whatsoever to the Torah and tzaddikim - how can they receive this breath of air/vitality/life if there is no connection [at all]?
For this, there exist false leaders who receive the spirit of life/vitality from the Torah but in an impure format. These false leaders, by distorting the Truth of the Torah, give rise to the falsehood found in the Torah and connect to the Torah from there.
To explain: in order for the Torah to give instruction and guidelines regarding how to discern what is permitted, kosher or pure, the Torah must also make mention of what is forbidden, non-kosher and impure. Thus the Torah's mere mentioning forbidden, non-kosher and impure give these false attributes technically a "part" in the Torah
For the sake of free will, any leader who falsifies the Truth of the Torah will inevitably be indirectly connected to the Torah but from the improper and distorted side.
From these leaders, those who are not close to the true tzaddikim receive their life/vitality/breath-of-life indirectly from the Torah. The thing is that the vitality/life that fill their lacking is short lived with a sad ending. As opposed to those who receive life/vitality through the true tzaddikim, their lacking in the long run is filled properly.
The Pipelines of the Wicked
Not only do the wicked have their own "pipelines" of receiving their distorted vitality and life-force from the Torah [through their false leaders], but they also try to attack and damage the "holy" pipelines of the worthy individuals connected to the Tzaddikim. This damage is reflected in addictions, depression, anger, haughtiness etc.
More than this, when the wicked try to override the people trying to be good with their evil traits and attributes, it becomes nearly impossible for the good people to receive their breath-of-life/energized vitality from the True Tzaddikim.
What is needed then is to sigh, groan and take a deep breath (krechtz in Yiddish). What this does is draw more of the influence of the True Tzaddikim into our beings, thus breaking the influence of the evil pipelines trying to override the holy pipelines.
The heart is then able to expel the lack (which is felt and located mainly in the heart) through the sigh/groan/deep breath, allowing for renewed and "non-lacking" oxygen/breath-of-life to enter the lungs and bring fullness and completeness to a person.
(for more on these deep concepts please see: LIKUTEY MOHARAN LESSON 8
and listen to the following playlist: LIKUTEY MOHARAN LESSON #8)
The Chanukah VictoryThe Chanukah story and miracle illustrate these concepts.
The Greeks wanted to detach the Jews from the Torah, and then inculcate the Jews with their negative traits and desires. They wanted the Jews to be influenced by their negative and impure pipelines.
Matityahu, the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) who was the True Tzaddik of the generation could not take it any longer, and after sighing and groaning over the miserable situation, he was filled with enhanced spirit-of-life from the Torah, and, along with his sons and few followers (those who maintained a solid attachment with him, the True Tzaddik), were able to pursue and subdue the Greek army and remove their influence from the Jews' Torah observance and from the Holy Temple.
The Miraculous Oil
When the victorious Jews then entered the Holy Temple to purify it from all the impurity injected by the Greeks, they found a tiny jug of pure olive oil [fit to light the Holy Menorah] sealed with the seal of the High Priest.
It was "specifically" because it was sealed with the seal of the High Priest - the True Tzaddik - that the Greeks were unable to open the jug and taint the holy oil.
The seal is the power of the Tzaddik's purity and attachment to the Torah that doesn't let the Greek's evil traits to overcome him or his seal.
The oil which was used to light the Menorah candles corresponds to the body's fatty liquids which go up and fuel the mind, which is compared to a burning candle [corresponding to the light of Torah and the Tzaddik].
These fatty liquids are maintained by the cool, new and fresh air that the lungs bring into the body, thus cooling the heat of the heart. For were it not for the lungs blowing cool air onto the heart, the heart would burn out and consume the entire body.
Therefore the lighting of the Holy Candles of the Menorah represent the end result of pure air/breath-of-life filling up the lacking and thus bringing to a complete shining of a person through the Torah and the Tzaddik.
Thus, when the Cohanim Priests lit the Menorah candles using the little jug of olive oil, a miracle happened and instead of burning for just one day (which was the actual amount of olive oil), the candles burned for a total of 8 days. This miracle was to show that it was specifically in the merit/power of the True Tzaddik - the High Priest who wore "8" garments that there was an extension of the breath-of-life spirit that enabled the Jews to overcome the Greeks and their negative influence.
The Mitzvah of Lighting Candles for Generations to Come
The Sages of that generation saw that this miracle was so far-reaching and profound that they felt that it could be extended to all generations to come.
They saw that if the Jews of future generations would light the "Chanukah" candles during these 8 specific days, they would be able to re-activate the merit and light of the High Priest - the Tzaddik, in order to overcome all future enemies with similar goals and attitudes as those of the Greeks.
Lighting the Chanukah candles would activate the spirit/breath-of-life coming from the Tzaddik to subdue the enemies, and then additional breath/vitality would then fill in the lacking of the heart, thus bringing wholeness to a person in his Torah performance and goodness.
For more clarification and development of these ideas, please listen to:
In the spirit of the Chanukah festival and custom, it is a special mitzvah to help support the needy in this special time.
To help support a very needy family of 9 residing in Jerusalem, please send support following this paypal link:
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May we merit through the lighting of the Chanukah candles
to prepare the way for the rebuilding of the Third Temple
where the upcoming High Priest will light and shine
the brightest ever Candles of the Future Menorah, Amen.